Unicoi man kills mother-in-law, self

Becky Campbell • Updated Sep 24, 2018 at 10:20 PM

ERWIN — Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley said a man who helped care for his elderly mother-in-law with Alzheimer’s shot and killed the woman in her wheelchair, and then took his own life Saturday.

Sheriff Mike Hensley identified the two as Evelyn Bailey, 93, and Grady Hughes, 63. Officers were dispatched to a residence on Morris Road around 8:30 a.m. Saturday and found the two dead in the driveway of Hughes’ home.

“When officers arrived, they found two people deceased outside the residence (and) one was in a wheelchair in the driveway,” Hensley said Monday.

The sheriff, his investigators and the coroner responded and Hensley also asked for assistance from the District Attorney General’s Office and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Hensley said investigators learned that Bailey, who lived next door to her daughter and son-in-law, stayed with the couple at night and stayed at her own home during the day with a daytime caregiver.

“They would take her next door to her residence and there was a caretaker who took care of her through the day,” Hensley said. “On Saturday morning everything was normal, there were no problems. The son in law proceeded to take her next door. They had to roll her through their home, into a closed garage and out the garage and to her house.”

Hughes took Bailey through the house, opened the garage door and rolled her outside, Hensley said.

“On the wall of the enclosed garage, there was a wooden gun rack. We believe when he rolled her out into the driveway, he came back and got the gun and shot and killed her and then turned the gun on himself,” Hensley said.

Hughes’ wife, who was Bailey’s daughter, was inside at the time and apparently heard the gunshots.

“He did not have a gun when he went through the house,” Hensley said. “We believe he retrieved the shotgun when he went out of the house ...we believe she was shot from behind.”

Hensley said he didn’t know how long Bailey had been spending nights at her daughter’s home, but “it’d been for a while, but we don’t know exactly how long. She didn’t like to stay there. We do know that. She didn’t like being away from home,” he said.

“Our prayers go out to this family. It’s a terrible situation in this community.”

Hensley said the case was still under investigation and both bodies were taken to the William Jenkins Forensic Center for autopsy.

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